What if someone else is driving my car and is involved in an accident? (2023)

Let's say your best friend wants to borrow your car for a few hours to go shopping while your car is in the shop. On the one hand, they wouldn't ask unless they really needed it: their cat is out of food or their brother needs a ride to work. On the other hand, they are fast riders and have had a bumper hit or two.

Before handing over the keys, it's a good idea to make sure how insurance applies if you let someone else drive your car. What happens when your friend crashes your car and injures another driver? What if they get a ticket? Think about the answers before pushing someone behind the wheel of your vehicle. It is also wise to understand these potential issues before driving someone else's car.

The central theses

  • If someone else is driving your car and causes an accident, depending on your policy, your insurance will likely cover initial damage to other drivers or property, as well as any damage to your own car.
  • If someone else causes accidental damage while driving your car, your insurance premium may increase.
  • If your insurance does not cover the entire claim, the other driver's policy may cover some liability and possibly some medical expenses.
  • Coverage may vary by insurer and state. So before lending your car to someone else, ask your insurance company what is covered.
  • Before handing over the keys, ask your friend about his insurance coverage and whether he would be willing to pay for any damages if you cause an accident with his car.

Car insurance generally follows the vehicle.

In general, claims arising from the use of your car, regardless of who is driving it, are likely to be referred first to your insurer, provided the driver has your driver's license.

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How coverage is applied may vary depending on state law, your specific auto insurance policy, and the situation.

Property and personal liability insurance

yes your friendSingle, oroommateIf you borrow your car and injure someone or damage their property, your insurance company's personal or property insurance will usually step in to cover the claim. If the claim is greater than your coverage amount and the driver is also insured, your coverage may cover the difference.

All risks and accidents insurance

collision protectioncovers the cost of accidental damage to your vehiclefull coverageis applied to the cost of non-collision damage, such as B. getting hit by a bird on the windshield.

If you don't have comprehensive or comprehensive insurance and your friend borrows your car and damages it, your insurance company won't cover the cost of fixing the damage. Even if your friend has their own collision or collision damage waiver, their policy probably won't cover damage to your vehicle. You may need to have a potentially awkward conversation with your friend about repairs.

When Driver's Car Insurance May Apply

In some situations or states, certain parts of your friend's insurance policy may intervene to cover expenses that are beyond the limits of your policy or not covered by your policy. Think of borrower coverage as a backup policy. For example, if the borrower of your car causes more property damage than insurance covers, your insurance company may step in to pay the balance of a claim.

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Whether or not coverage applies, and how, depends on the situation, the insurer, the state and the wording of the policy. Before lending your car to someone else or lending your car to someone else, confirm your coverage with your insurance company.

PIP, Medical Payments and Uninsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Personal Injury Insurance (PIP)., health insurance coverage and uninsured/uninsured coverage for drivers vary widely from state to state. Some states require certain types of coverage such as B. PIP, other states allow drivers to opt for certain optional coverages (such as PIP insurance), and even more states have no requirements.

Differences between states and regulations can make it extremely confusing to regulate financial liability when it comes to collision injuries. For example, depending on the state and policy, the driver's PIP insurance may cover some medical costs or other personal injury costs for the driver or passengers. If the driver does not have a PIP but you (the car owner) do, your insurance may pay for the costs of injuries.

Contact your insurer for more information about your accident and uninsured motorist accident coverage and how it applies to someone else who rents your car. Ask anyone borrowing your car to check with their insurance company as well.

When Your Insurance May Not Cover Someone Else's Accident

Your auto insurance may not pay for damages in certain situations. Be sure to check with your insurance company about exclusions, exceptions or limitations before handing over keys to someone not listed on your policy. Exceptions can be:

  • lack of permission: If you didn't give permission to the driver, whether it's a friend, family member or thief, your insurance policy probably won't cover damage or injury to others.
  • special situations: Some owner-only insurance policies cover the owner of the vehicle and no one else. Other policies allow you to do this.exclude certain driversof coverage, such as B. A family member with a suspended license. Some insurers may pay less for claims caused by non-owner drivers.
  • invalid license: If your friend loses his driver's license and still lets you drive his car, his insurance company may deny any resulting claims and you could be held legally liable.
  • members of the family: If a family member is not covered by your insurance and causes an accident with your car, they may not be covered depending on the insurer.
  • business activity: When your best friend borrows your car to offer youride, your current policy may not cover this trip.

What happens if someone else has an accident with my car?

The insurance payout depends on several factors, including:

  • whose fault is it
  • How many drivers were involved?
  • Owner and driver insurance policies.
  • Type of damage or incident
  • State Insurance Laws

Let's say your friend borrows your car to do something. If you are hit by another driver known to be responsible for the accident, that driver's insurance will likely pay for damage to your car and injuries to your friend, depending on the state and attribution.

If your friend is responsible for an accident, your policy will likely pay up to the maximum amount for injuries or damage caused. Once the limits are reached, your friend's insurer can step in to pay additional costs, or you can both be sued for damages.

In another scenario, let's say your friend crashes into a metal barrier causing $1,500 in car damage. They have collision insurance that will help fix the deep scratch, but only if you pay the $500 deductible. Does your friend agree to pay the deductible or avoid your calls?

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Before handing over the keys, show your friend where you keep your proof of insurance. Some states may suspend your driver's license if you don't show proof of insurance, even if you rent a car.

If an accident affects your rates

If your babysitter or cousin borrows your car and is involved in an accident, it will go on your insurance file.file a complaintfor the damage, your fees may increase at the next renewal, although they may not increase if your friend is not responsible for the accident. Again, a lot depends on your insurer, policy wording and state laws.

And the tickets?

Tickets usually follow the driver, not the car. So if your friend gets a speeding ticket, it usually only affects their travel history, not yours.In some locations, violations reported by speed cameras (for example, traffic light tickets) are the responsibility of the vehicle owner, not the driver, and may not appear on anyone's driver record.

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In some cities, you can dispute a citation or ticket issued by a camera if you are not driving. However, you may need to identify the driver who will be given his own ticket.

Should the other driver be insured?

At best, everyone who borrows your car has their own auto insurance. This coverage can help cover any liability costs that exceed your insurance limits or, in some cases, injuries.

If your friend is uninsured and responsible for the accident, you or he could be sued for additional damages that could endanger your possessions (such as your savings or home).non-owner insuranceIt might be an option for people who need to rent cars on a regular basis.

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If you usually lend your car to a specific person, e.g. a caregiver, ask your insurance company if this person should or can be added to your insurance policy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

My teenager was borrowing a friend's car and had an accident. Who is responsible?

Coverage is usually only extended to people with your verbal permission to drive your car. If your teen allows a friend to borrow their vehicle without your permission, you should consult with your insurance company and an attorney to determine whether you or your insurance company are legally responsible for any claims related to the accident.

If my drunk friend asks me to drive his car, who is responsible for the accident?

You will need to consult your insurance company and possibly a lawyer about your situation as there are many factors at play. Liability and coverage can depend on state laws, insurers, policy terms and more.

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